Knit 2 Par 3

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Wild and Wooly Weekend

It's not the first time I've said it: thank goodness the Yankees and the Mets crapped out in the playoffs this year and I got my family back (at least until pitchers and catchers go back to work on February 15th) so I have to cram as much togetherness activity as I can until then.

And what better togetherness activity than the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival? The two hour ride gave me many opportunities to say: look at those trees! Makes me want to knit something! Can we stop, I need to pee!

Having been to Stiches East and now Sheep and Wool, I'd recommend saving all your pennies for spending at the Rhinebeck event. Unlike Stitches East, most of the vendors at Rhinebeck were small producers of both fleece and spun wool. If you got bored with the fiber -as if!- you could watch the pumpkin catapult or eat parts of the sheep, cooked. Or listen to a sheep tell a joke like this girl:

Yes of course: what did I buy?

Run, don't walk, to the Briar Rose Fibers website. I bought 1,000 yards of this for only $40, enough for a sleeveless shell. For me, this was the pick of the show.

Tintagel Farms shared some space with Persimmon Tree Farm and I picked up some mohair/wool blend from both. I think they were among the best dyers there, their colors were very natural and rich, and I thought the prices were good: $16 for 200 yards of a rich purple dyed blend, and $10 for 125 yards of a complimentary stripe.

More tomorrow about the bloggers when I upload some pix.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Meme is Money

What is your all-time favourite yarn to knit with?

Colinette Point 5. This yarn is beautiful. I have only knit two things with this: a sweater for Gina P and a scarf for Emily's fourth grade teacher Abra. But I think it is the most beautiful yarn in the world. I would like to be buried in it.

Your favourite needles?

You all know the answer to this! Say it with me: Denise Interchangable Needles.

The worst thing you’ve ever knit?

I made a flesh colored/cotton speck bobble sweater for my mother in, oh, 1980. It looked like smallpox. And the neck was real small. I recently saw it in her closet - she can't bring herself to through it out but not even a librarian (she's a librarian) could wear it.

Your most favourite knit pattern?

Hands down: ChicKnits Ribbi Cardi. All the parts fit togehter perfectly.

Most valuable knitting technique?

It's gross but great: instead of tying your yarn togehter, or worse weaving in the ends, lick each end of the yarn. Really yick it up with spit. Then, splice the ends together and roll them on your thigh. Get some real good friction going. This will felt the ends together with no knot or seam at all. Unforutnately, this only works with wool. And I'd recommend it only in the privacy of your own home: I did it at knitting group and got a lecture about germs.

Best knit book or magazine?

Anything by Anne Budd.

Your favorite person to knit for?

Anyone under age 10 who likes bright colors. Or Brown.

Your favorite knitblogs?

Look to the left!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

And Another Thing

I walked halfway crosstown today to check out the Interweave Knits Holiday issue and was I dissapointed! It's not enough that I was foolish enough to actually go to work today when everyone thought I had one more day of jury duty, but I could hardly contain my dismay about the RERUN patterns in this issue.

If you read this blog, you probably have every back issue of Interweave Knits or else you could borrow them from me. Many recent patterns are reprinted in this holiday issue. To whom are they marketing? Who wants to see that knitted heart tree ornament again? And knitted fruit? I don't want any for Christmas.

Good thing this weekend is the Sheep and Wool Festival. I have a bag of money to bring with me and I am not leaving until I've touched every fleece, spent every penny and air-kissed every blogging compatriot.

I've been so crabby lately: the limited knitting, the seasonal demise of golf and, even worse: self imposed (albeit limited) sobriety. It all has to stop, right now! I took a quiz on the internet which proved the worst:

My Personality
Openness To Experience
Test Yourself Compare Yourself View Full Report
Find your soulmate / pysch twin

MySpace Layouts, student loan consolidation and MySpace by Pulseware Survey Software

Look at how disagreeble I turn out to be! Not even a little blip on the chart.

Hey: if you pick up the dry cleaning for me when I am at Sheep and Wool, I'll give you a present. Something knitted! If you're a kid: cash.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

No Sharp Objects Allowed

Fullfilled my civic duty today with 7 hours of grueling, unknitting jury duty. My plan was to discreetly slip in a set of bamboo double pointed sock needles - sock needles, for god's sake, the short ones! to finish up the Sock Wars socks that are hanging like a DK albatross around my neck.

But you cannot bring sharp objects of any kind into the courthouse. The No Sharp Objects Allowed sign listed box cutters, bowie knives, tweezers and everything except knitting needles, so I thought, as I waited on line with all the rest of the unlucky civilians, that I had a chance. The security guard wanted to know as he examined all five: are knitting needles sharp? I considered saying no, but then couldn't quickly figure out a way to cleverly explain the points on both ends.

In the end I was left with just yarn, and a long day with only the hope of teaching myself some prison crafts. Like macrame! You'd have to be in the hoosgow for some bad thing to take up that as a craft. Prisoners are encouraged to knit and crochet during arts and crafts, but they seem to be encouraged to make only bathroom accessories.

Happily there was no shortage of back issues of Golf Digest and Golf for Women laying around the jury duty waiting room. And no one wanted to look at them but me. I did find a good tip in one of them: a suggestion to use a wood instead of a pitching wedge to get a ball out of that area that is just outside of the fringe around the green. What's that area called? I think it's called the weeds. Use the same half shot you would use with the pitching wedge and the size of the wood will move the ball out of that messy grass and not overshoot the green.

I only had to serve just this one day. I think I was excused because I kept nodding off at the table, like a junkie.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Changed My Mind (not about the dry cleaning)

A few months ago I gave a rather dismal review of my neighborhood yarn store, Patricia's Yarns. Now the store has been open for maybe more than a year, and when I paid a visit there this weekend, I was pleased to see a greater variety of yarns and nary a fuzzy ball or scarf in sight.

First I found this beautiful Gems Opal by Louet Sales. You get a hefty 225 yards in a skein and I think I paid $13.50. The colors are very rich and the store stocked a good range. I don't think I am going to knit anything with it, I will just keep it to look at for a while.

It seems to be a big year for alpaca everywhere I look and there was a good supply of that Blue Sky Alpaca that I used on some of the socks for the summer Sockstravaganza. I was also pretty turned on by the Trekking Jaywalker which every blogger in the world is knitting with right now if you check the Google Search. I think is marketed as sock yarn but I would use for a tank top. I realize that I'm pretty much over socks as I toil through the last third of the Sock Wars pair. Wish that I had somehow managed to draw the the name of a one legged knitter because I'd be done by now.

In case you are wondering about the dry cleaning, I dropped if off at the dry cleaners on December 12, 2005. And it's still there, and most mornings, the dry cleaner (Rosario) comes out his shop and mutely appeals to me to come pick it up while I wait at the bus stop. So sometimes when I am feeling sensitive and overrought (like today) I go in the opposite direction and take the train.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

It's John's Job to Pick up the Dry Cleaning, not Mine

(Well, a blog is a bully pulpit, I can say what I want.)

Now that I've pretty much figured out I need to put the golf clubs away for the season, I can concentrate on knitting so I treated myself to a trip to the local yarn store - really, the first time I've let myself walk into a yarn store in almost four three months.

Because as you may have figured out, I have little control over the yarn purchases. I just give in and I don't even try to be civilized about it. I think if you sampled , say, ten random blogs about knitting you would find out that no one has control over their fiber compulsions: if you can see it and touch it then you have to knit it and that means buying it.

That means: looking at every skein of yarn. That means: taking five different skeins of red yarn outside to see which one is red enough. That means: paying cash and putting the yarn in your purse so as not to bring home a bag with the name of the yarn store on it. Hmm.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Going down swinging

I thinkI played one of the last rounds of golf for the season over the weekend in Maine. Emily and I had a fun time at the par 3 course. I tried out a few of my new clubs and while I was hesitant to spend so much money on a non-yarn item, I was glad that Brendan encouraged me to buy a full set. To make things a little more challenging for the par 3 course, I concentrated on getting the ball on the green and I was able to do that four times in the nine holes. My putting was quite poor, though. In retrospect I was not taking the time to see the lie of the green and just taking a shot.

Finishing up the details - that's my lifelong problem. I have the same problem with knitting - I hate to sew up a project, I hate to weave in the ends, I hate to sew on the buttons. I hate to block. I am very good at knitting the test gauge for a pattern, and measuring and adjusting, and all the rows and patterns. I like to wind yarn. I like to tee off, to get to the green, but getting the little ball in the ever tinier hole is work.

For fun I hit some balls into the creek behind the house, but look! No follow through in this shot:

Monday, October 09, 2006

I Love Red Yarn

We went to Maine this weekend. Every tree I saw made me think of yarn in fall colors and the one true thing I know about myself: I love red yarn. My hands are feeling better and the very first thing I am going to knit is a pair of red mittens from the Jack Frost Two Needle Mitten pattern book I bought in New Brunswick, NJ in 1979, reprinted here.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I was talking to my only friend at my job today about my crippled hands and how inconsolable I was that I can only knit about a row before having to stop and how it was making me irritable not being able to knit and he said: do you know what the problem is here, Denise? You are a lemon.

But, not knitting gives you plenty of time to read about knitting. Or to sing about knitting. Or to say poems and play instruments about knitting. And of course do performance art about knitting.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Since I've had to lay low on the knitting this week, I passed up an opportunity to go to the yarn store in Nyack. I don't think I've mentioned this store before - they have a really interesting selection of small mill yarns including some (almost) affordable cashmere blends. Most importantly, they have wall of Noro and maybe they even carry the whole line. I will find out next time I go.

I've been meaning to get some golf balls and tees since there is the possibility of golf this week, so Em and I went to the big box store. They had a pretty good selection of workaday balls, but even on sale they seemed quite pricey - something like $1.50 per ball for the kind not on sale, and $.80 for the ones I got on sale. Considering I loose at least 3 per game, that's like throwing $5 in the water hazard. Why are they so expensive? I found a typically earnest and hardworking answer from this Consumer Reports article, which as usual gives way too much information and makes you sorry you ever asked.

And speaking of way too much information: while I was comparing and contrasting the packaging for the golf balls I noticed a man in the aisle with me, reading the back of a box of Nike balls and he was wearing this tee shirt:

(it didn't say "click to enlarge" though) and I just wonder: who wears this shirt out of the house? To shop for balls? There is no end to the apparent hilarity of this logo - you can get it on boxer shorts, or golf shirts, or even on a tie.